"Frank Rothkamm is the one of most interesting musicians of today, contemporary of industrial culture. He is a true underground figure, the fighter of invisible front, who realized a number of projects, produced great records for his own Flux Records label. Being a professionally trained musician, he was shifting freely from tape collages in his teens, and going through different forms including chamber music and pop arrangements. "Moers Works" is his first experiment, discovered and unearthed by me incidentally. Archive materials recorded back in 1982-84 and released after quarter of century!"
Dmitry Vasilyev - Monochrome Vision Moscow
It was in the Southern German town of Nürtingen where Frank "boy genius" Rothkamm, after receiving his first piano lessons in his birthplace of Gütersloh, started composing music for pianos at the age of 12. Not satisfied with the timbre limitations and inability to notate music directly to a recording medium, he set out to design his own electronic music system. It was not until 1982 in the town of Moers, when Rothkamm was 16, that this dream was finally realized.
The system consisted solely of a turntable, a shortwave radio, a phaser, an EQ, a cassette recorder and an UHER reel-to-reel tape recorder. To accommodate this setup of rather moderate means he devised the method of irreversible additive overdubbing of monophonic tracks with stereophony achieved with tape delay.
All tracks on this CD were recorded with this completely analog "sampling" system which incorporated a borrowed Korg MS-20 synthesizer in Tracks 2 and 10. In Track 7 the base samples of guitar, piano, strings were recorded at the studio of the local Castle Theatre, where he trained as an actor.
Rothkamm perceived his compositional technique to be very "digital"; informed by both Punk Rock with its sudden shifts and hard cuts, and by the mathematics of permutation. All Moers Works were composed to be used in a live performance, and it was in these works where he developed his first piece that takes place in unusual locations. Track 3 was recorded during a 1 week experiment where he would live and work at night and sleep during the day. Track 7 was commissioned by the theatre and forms the overture to the Heiner Mueller play of the same name, commencing with a stone thrown through a window. Tracks 4 through 6 were part of his ambitious "Fisch II" series, first performed in 1984 in the 25-seat Pulverhaus, a 16th century ammunition powder storage building located in the park. This brought him publicity that he has never regained since.